Daryl Strives for Excellence as WorldSkills Competition Commences.

October 12, 2017

Nationwide Crash Repair’s own Daryl Head’s WorldSkills journey will finally reach its pinnacle over the coming days as the competition he has been preparing for over the past two years gets underway.

Paint Technician Daryl, from NCRC Swindon, travelled to Abu Dhabi this week where he is competing in the final of the WorldSkills competition, representing the UK and Nationwide Crash Repair Centres. As part of Team UK Daryl will compete against other young people from across the world over the course of four days, each day holding different challenges designed to test the competitors in every aspect of car painting.

Daryl’s journey began back in 2012 when he started his apprenticeship in paint just days after he left school. Since then he has gone on to compete in the National Skills Competition and be named Nationwide Apprentice of the Year. Three years after beginning his training, Daryl was scouted to join Team UK during a Skill Auto competition, and earlier this year he was named as the UK representative in his discipline for WorldSkills 2017.

Daryl said: “I’ve been all over the place preparing (for the competition), I’ve been to Denmark and I’ve been to Northern Ireland two or three times. I’ve done a lot of training at Thatcham and both Thatcham and Nationwide have been really supportive.”

Sunday 15th October will see Daryl put all his hard work and training with Nationwide, Thatcham Research and WorldSkills into action as he begins the first of what is sure to be a tough and pressured series of challenges. Not only is Daryl competing to win the gold medal, but he could also win the Medallion of Excellence, which is available to all competitors. He said: “To be awarded the Medallion of Excellence means you’ve scored over 75% of the marks in the competition, so to win that would be a great achievement as well.”

Competitors at WorldSkills are able to practice the tasks in advance, however there will always be some variable factors, for example the colour of the paint, or the design required. During his training Daryl said: “Now I know the tasks pretty much inside out it’s just a case of repetition, repetition, repetition and seeing how far we can push them and where we can save literally seconds because the time is so tight.”

WorldSkills will simultaneously test Daryl on his car painting skills, his will power and ability to deal with pressure, as each of these elements will have a major impact on how well he does. He said: “I am definitely more prepared for the emotional side of it than I thought I was. When I was in Denmark we had a bit of a rough start, a task didn’t get completed and I got myself a bit worked up. You’ve just got to carry on otherwise you’re going to lose all the marks for the other tasks.”

WorldSkills have been instrumental in preparing Daryl for the competition, as well as providing media training and how to deal with the stress of such an intense contest. Daryl said: “It rounds you as a person as well as a painter. As a person, it has probably made me more interested in what I do, how to do it better all the time and in the future hopefully it can propel my career.

“I just want to make myself proud, my family and friends proud, and obviously make work proud.”

Nationwiders across the country will be routing for Daryl, but no matter the outcome he has already made the team extremely proud. Louise Cope, People Director, said:  

We will be keeping everyone up to date on Daryl’s progress in the competition over the next few days on our social media channels, and the competition is broadcast live at www.worldskills.org.

Are you inspired by Daryl’s story and want to know more about an apprenticeship with Nationwide? View vacancies on our website www.nationwiderepairs.co.uk/careers or call our Talent Team on 01926 452 620.